Horror Story: Bulgarian Court Says Human Life = Euro 500.

Today the Sofia appeal court has announced sentences on a case, which started four (sic!) years ago. On May 3, 2005, 34-year old Vesselin Petrov died, when he touched the water in the fountain on Slaveikov square in Sofia. The investigation proved that when the fountain was designed, there were serious glitches, resulting in leaking electricity (220 Volts) in the water.

The sentences?

Vassil Kamenov, CEO of the company managing the fountain, was found guilty, and… fined (sic!) Leva 1000 (Euro 500 – that is, five hundred). The other two accused – municipality company “Markets” and CEO of the company that build the fountain, were acquitted.

No wonder the European Union claims in their reports that there is no working legal system in Bulgaria. If the death of a young man is equal to Euro 500, then I really think this is worse than a horror story. It is real life in my country.

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5 Responses to Horror Story: Bulgarian Court Says Human Life = Euro 500.

  1. albert venn dicey says:

    The court was applying the law, not making it.
    The reason it took 4 years was that the public prosecutor and the
    civil party kept filing stupid and unreslistic (under the current
    law)appeals. If they didn’t, the sentence would have entered in
    force 2 or 3 years ago.
    If you’re having the ambition to inform people about Bulgaria, you
    are failing in that regard.
    P.S. I think you go to Law School, I’m I right?
    But maybe you skipped some Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure

  2. Of course the court always applies the law. This excuse has been always used by the court itself to explain why they don’t take a decision. At the same time, the same laws apply for the court in the city of Plovdiv, where sentences are being produced in a timely manner. As to the fact of the sentence, where a human life = Euro 500, that is the horror story.

    By the way, for the English speakers: in Bulgaria, when someone has no arguments, they usually start asking questions about the person making the statement, in this case “albert” has written six sentences, and half of them are dedicated to me, instead to the fact of the poor judicial system in Bulgaria 🙁

  3. albert venn dicey says:

    It is true I used an ad hominem argument. But it is also true that
    it was well in point – you do not understand or pretend not to
    understand basic legal concepts,such as nullum poena sine lege
    principle, but boldly proclaim to condemn Bulgarian courts.
    And by the way, for the English and Bulgrian speakers alike, when
    somebody has no arguments or common ground to which to base his
    conclusions or want to suggest something without the need to prove
    it, he just proclaim them as “facts” in hope nobody tries
    to dispute them. (“As to the fact of the sentence, where a human
    life = Euro 500, that is the horror story”)
    The title of your post makes the suggestion that it is the Bulgarian
    court that put the value of human life at Euro 500.
    This is not a fact.
    As to the time it took for this decision to come a large part of it
    is due to the public prosecutor failiures (such as not giving a
    defendant the copy of the indictment in due course) and pointless
    appeals by the public prosecutor and the civil party.

  4. My own experience with the Bulgarian courts in the last 15 years alone is enough for me to condemn them, but I am not doing this. I still don’t understand – do you mean that the sentence is not a fact? Who said that the death of an innocent person is Euro 500 – me, or the court? That’s the sad fact – one can build a fountain that kills a person, and be punished for that with Euro 500.
    The prosecutors are just one particle of the system that doesn’t work – I guess you know [well] the details of the case, since you share them. I can only agree that their work is quite difficult – having about 1000 cases / year does not allow them to finish even one properly.
    By the way, the man who died at the fountain – don’t you have some thoughts about the fact that he had a family, a girl-friend, and he died because of the bad work of the accused? What about the value that was lost to the society? And to say that it is the fault of the prosecution only would not be fair – the whole judicial system is working like this.

  5. albert venn dicey says:

    The sentence is a fact, but “Bulgarian Court Says Human Life = Euro 500” is
    not a fact, but a suggestion. It suggests that the Court fined
    the defendent Euro 500 out of indifference to the human life or worse.

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